run time: 138 mins
considered: Adventure, Drama
director: Darren Aronofsky
starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis, Kevin Durand, Leo McHugh Carroll, Marton Csokas, Finn Wittrock, Madison Davenport, Gavin Casalegno
movie summary: The Bible has many stories based on events that have shaped our world and religious beliefs as we know them today. When one flips through scripture, they will come across the story of Noah (Russell Crowe) and his great arc. God called upon Noah to rescue the animals of the world and prepare for 40 days of rain to wipe out all the sinners, to start all over again.
Noah tries his best to live a sin free life alongside his beautiful wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) and his three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth. One day he begins to have strange dreams involving water and death so he begs God to answer his prayers about his destiny. After watching a rain drop fall from a cloudless sky and grow a flower in seconds, Noah packs up the family to go see his grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins). On the way they pass through a dark forest where they discover a family that has been slaughtered by a human King Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone), except one there’s still a baby girl Ila (Emma Watson) who is alive, so decide to adopt her. The family manages to out run away the King’s army with the help of golems, who are stone creatures that were once angels sent down on earth to protect all that is good. When things went bad after the apple incident in the Garden of Eden, the angels were turned to stone and didn’t care about humans after that for their betrayal.
At the top of the mountain Noah and Shem meet with Methuselah who explains that God has a mission for him and that will provide him with everything he needs to achieve it. He just needs to believe and he will succeed. Noah returns to the base to reunite with his family and plant a seed that Methuselah gave him from the Garden of Eden. Within minutes the seed burst into a water fountain which grows into a stream and then a raging river across the lands. The dry desert at the base of the mountain was soon transferred into an instant forest with tall trees, bushes, and lakes. Noah has everything he needs to build an arc with the help of the golems.
Many years later the kids have grown up, Noah has shaved his head, and the golems are putting the finishing touches on the arc. Last time we saw Noah he was kinder, nicer, and not as stressed as he appears at this current time period. Building the arc has transformed his life and it hasn’t been for the best. He has taken his mission from God a tad bit serious and it is affecting his marriage and relationship with his kids. King Tubal-Cain comes across the forest then Noah and his arc. He threatens to kill Noah and his family if he doesn’t allow him and his men aboard the arc when it finally starts to rain. The golems and Noah push the army back before the rain starts. The army returns to the forest to build weapons to take down the arc while Noah finishes the arc and loads all the animals that have flocked to him to be saved.
The rain continues for days while the army prepares their attack. Ham (Logan Lerman) runs off to find himself a bride before the water floods the land leaving him all alone. Noah goes out to search for Ham while the army attacks, thankfully the golems have formed a wall and will defend the arc until their death. Noah returns in time to fight off the men who broke through the wall and threaten his family. Just when the arc is about to be over taken, the oceans flow in killing everyone left standing before pushing the arc out of its braces and onto the open water. During the chaos of the fighting Tubal-Cain managed to sneak aboard the arc and find a place to hide.
The arc has set sail across the open waters with no destination or landmarks to guide it. Tensions are high among Noah and his family, Ham is furious at his dad for not finding him a wife so he is hiding out in the dark corners of the arc. Shem and Ila are pregnant but Noah has threaten to kill the baby because God wants a brand new world built by animals and no people. Japheth, the youngest, has no clue what to do except sit there and watch his mom yell and scream at his dad to not kill anyone and come back to his senses. Noah is angry at everything that has gone on around him since the rain fell, he doesn’t understand why God would put him in this position when he is doing his best to carry out his mission.
Ham stumbles across King Tubal-Cain who has been injured but eating some of the animals to regain his strength. Tubal-Cain convinces Ham that his dad doesn’t love him, that humans will rule the world, and that God wanted it that way or he wouldn’t have created them in the first place. Ham starts to believe every word he hears and plans to ambush his dad when Tubal-Cain is healthy enough to jump in and kill him. Ila goes through her pregnancy, while Shem builds a raft to get away from the arc and his crazy father. Noah burns down the raft then warns when the baby is born it will die. Ila goes into labour while the raft burns and gives birth while Noah go back to his tool shop to get his knife.
Ila and Shem hide the babies while Naameh tries her best to hold Noah back. He starts a frantic search for the babies while Ham and Tubal-Cain spring their plan into action. The drama is about to pick up on the arc as the waves outside suddenly become calm and Noah is left to ponder what his true purpose is before he makes the wrong decision.
my thoughts: In 2013 I read about this movie going into production, that Russell Crowe was going play the lead, and that this movie was going to be epic. Sadly I hyped myself to the point that when this movie ended I was so disappointed that I actually didn’t like it. First, the trailer is very misleading. It makes you believe you are about to watch the sequel to the gladiator when in fact there isn’t much fighting. Second the story is so dragged out, so boring, and so uneventful for long stretches that at the end of the 138 minutes I thought I had just witnessed the whole bible. It was so long that towards the end I forgot that the golems were in the movie way back in the beginning! Third this film has received it’s fair share of criticism for being too Biblical and then throwing in a bunch of stuff that never ever happened. I wasn’t around back in the day when this story was being played out, but I guarantee there was no rock creatures who protected Noah and the arc, that was just Hollywood adding special effects to make sure you go see this great film. But on the flip side, Noah is going to get a higher rating then it actually deserves because of the special effects and acting. The CGI for the arc, animals, battle scenes, and all the other things God created are pretty amazing even though the ultimate props go to the actors and actresses. Russell Crowe is just a regular guy who turns into a ripped mean fighting machine who will carry out his mission like he works for the CIA, the Blue Brothers, or some other top-secret agency. Jennifer Connelly is simply a beautiful women who is superb at letting all her emotions out to save her family, husband, and grandchildren. She is willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of the kids and for whatever mission God has bestowed upon Noah. Anthony Hopkins is the leading name of the supporting cast which also features Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. Hopkins shows his age as the wise old grandfather who has connections back to the Garden of Eden. Watson is actually pretty amazing in her role, we all remember her as a young girl who grew up in the Harry Potter series but this young actress turned on the emotions and waterworks whenever she had to. The only disappointing casting for me was Lerman, who was portrayed as a stupid loner kid who didn’t get enough love growing up so decides to turn on his family. This was a far cry from his days as Percy Jackson. The only other main star is Ray Winstone who plays a great ruthless king who only cares about himself and believes he will over come all that God throws at him.
Noah has mixed reviews across the board. This movie will be loved by some and hated by others. You will only know which side you align with until you go see it. I wouldn’t recommend paying full price, but that’s just my opinion.
my star rating: 5 out 10
imdb.com: 6.9 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 75% out 100%
2 thoughts on “Noah (2014)”
Didn’t always work when it should have, but it at least kept me interested in seeing where Aronofsky was going to take this story and how many more times he was going to put his signature-stamp on it. Needless to say, the results didn’t let me down. Good review Ryan.
Thanks Dan! I was expecting it to be better on a bunch of different levels, and even though it was entertaining didn’t appeal to me as I had hoped.